East Devon MP raises concerns over plans for 20,000 new homes

PUBLISHED: 12:00 10 June 2019 | UPDATED: 09:06 12 June 2019

East Devon MP, Sir Hugo Swire. Picture: Wikimedia.

East Devon MP, Sir Hugo Swire. Picture: Wikimedia.

Archant

"We have all had enough of volume developers building identikit housing, often of indifferent quality."

Those are the words of the district's MP Sir Hugo Swire, following the announcement of plans to build 20,000 new homes in 'garden communities' across East Devon, Teignbridge and Exeter.

The Herald previously reported on the Government's setting aside £750,000 to help pay for the planning of the scheme, which will see the homes built by 2040.

Sir Hugo said: "We must know for certain where the housing demand is and what types of housing we should be providing. These targets are for a relatively long way off, for 2040. They are a test for the newly constituted East Devon District Council in their strategic planning, and helping young people to get onto the housing ladder.

"I have made clear in the past that I have concerns over the accuracy of the figures and predictions that are used, and I remain against the breaching of the old London Road to expand Cranbrook.

"East Devon is one of the most beautiful and picturesque parts of the country. The key point is that we must build homes with acknowledgement of the local vernacular. Any garden community has to have a town centre and the infrastructure to go with it."

Minister of State for Housing Kit Malthouse MP said the Government would be investing the cash to fund dedicated project teams, master planning work and studies to anticipate and offset the impact of housing growth.

Mr Malthouse said: "This is fantastic news for Exeter and the surrounding area. We are making an urgent push to build more, better, faster, and it is good to see the authorities working together to plan 20,000 much-needed properties built in Devon.

"This project is the next step towards meeting our aim of building 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s, in the areas where people need them the most."

The news comes just weeks before a document is set to be released revealing the possible locations for more than 57,000 new homes being built as part of the Greater Exeter Strategic Plan (GESP).

The GESP will be the major strategic blueprint for East Devon, Mid Devon, Teignbridge and Exeter. It will only look at where housing developments larger than 500 homes could go.

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